Microsoft delivers Windows Embedded Compact 2013

Microsoft delivers Windows Embedded Compact 2013

Summary: Microsoft has made the latest version of its embedded operating system generally available for small-footprint devices.


Microsoft on June 13 made the latest version of its Windows Embedded Compact operating system generally available.


Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is the successor to Windows Embedded CE. It is targeted at small-footprint devices used by retail, manufacturing, healthcare and other vertical industries.

Late last year, Microsoft officials said to expect the final release of Windows Embedded Compact 2013 in the second quarter of 2013.

The 2013 release supports both X86 and ARM, and adds support for Visual Studio 2012. The latest Compact Embedded operating system also includes general memory management and networking improvements, file-system performance improvements, optimized startup with snapshot boot, built-in support for Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth technologies, and a "seamless connection" to Windows Azure, according to Microsoft officials.

Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is one of several different embedded operating system offerings Microsoft sells, each of which is aimed at a specific set of devices and developers.

To get the generally available release, users need to register here to obtain the toolkit and product activation key.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I think the most important question here is...

    ... Does it have a Start Menu?

    *Ducks and runs away*
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • The short answer:

      No. It's designed to run a single app. Why do you need an app-launcher for a single app?
      • It was a joke...

        Hence the ducking and running away. ;)
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Maybe THIS is what we need to make Windows 8 useable?

  • Very significant

    This is a significant step closer to Windows-powered appliances being everywhere (ex: car dashboards, home security/environmental controls, the fridge, etc.). With true broadband becoming more prolific and wireless, I believe this is a very big deal.
    • Compact CE has been around a long time

      and is already quite mainstream. You've likely seen it with your own eyes, running in things you didn't even know had a computer on board.
      • true but I belive

        more things like that are linux powered these days.
      • Yep

        Ford's ICE systems have been using Windows for a long time. The touch screen system in my 2005 Mondeo was Windows CE based.
    • I can't understand why someone would think this is suddenly a big deal

      Other OSs are already more popular and continuing to take over in the embedded "application processor" space, and don't require getting in bed with M$ wanting a cut of everything. Besides windows CE has been around for a long time. Most everyone I see these days is using linux or android. Embedded development kits used to come with windows CE, some RTOS and LInux options, now its just linux and android.
  • Semi-related question:

    Will there be a "Windows Thin-PC" variant of Windows Embedded 8 Standard to replace the Windows Embedded Standard 7 version?
    • There already is

      Windows Embedded 8 was released a month or two back.
  • So Many Things Around You Run Linux

    Got a wireless router? Odds are it has a MIPS CPU running a Linux OS.

    Cheap NAS box? Guess which OS killed Windows Home Server?

    Digital TV decoder? Media streamer? You guessed it.